03 December 2011

Chicken Cheese Chowder

3 c. chicken broth
3 chicken breasts
1 lg onion, diced
2-3 potatoes, diced
2-3 celery stalks with leaves, diced
1 cup frozen corn kernals
salt & pepper
2 c. grated sharp cheddar
3 c. milk

Simmer broth, chicken, onion, potatoes, celery and corn (as Rachael Ray says, chop and drop, meaning chop as you go; you don't have to get everything chopped before you start). If you start with raw chicken breasts, take them out after about 15-20 minutes of simmering and chop or shred into bite-sized pieces. Simmer everything for 30-45 minutes. Season to taste with S&P.

Stir in cheese until melty. Stir in milk and reheat gently (10-15 minutes?) This soup is really rich and heavy so make sure it's a freezing cold night, and serve with good crusty bread for dipping.

11 November 2011


How to Make Yogurt without a Yogurt Maker :)

1 qt whole milk (my preference is whole, but you could probably use whatever kind you have)
2 Tbsp. plain yogurt

Candy thermometer (with range from 115 - 180)
Heating Pad
Glass quart jar with lid (like a canning jar, or you could use 2 smaller jars)
Huge soup pot
Kitchen towel
Wire whisk
Pyrex glass measuring cup
2 qt (ish) saucepan

1. Measure milk and pour into a medium saucepan. Start it heating up over medium heat. Rig your candy thermometer so its tip is in the middle of the milk. I do this by sort of threading it through the wires of a wire whisk. Stir occasionally with said whisk.
2. In your now-empty pyrex measuring cup, measure out 2 Tbsp. yogurt to start hanging out at room temperature.
3. When your milk gets to 180 degrees, remove from heat. Let it cool down to 115 degrees. This takes a while...but exactly how long depends on how warm your kitchen is, among other things.
4. Pour a little cooled milk (115) into the Pyrex holding the (now room-temp) yogurt. Using that same old whisk, whisk it together real good. Then pour the yogurt-milk mixture back into the saucepan holding the rest of the cooled milk. Whisk it all together real good, again, some more.
5. Pour into glass jar, set jar on top of heating pad set to low, cover with kitchen towel and then put huge giant soup pot on top. Leave it for 8 hours (or a little more is fine too). Then put it in your fridge and call it a day. It keeps for about 5 days.

Note: For you working women, you could feasibly start this yogurt when you get up in the AM and have it be done when you come home. But I would try it the first time on a Saturday so you'll have an idea of how much time it takes at the beginning.

Another note: You can "chain" the yogurt once you make some. When you get down to your last 2 tablespoons (or almost) you will want to make some more. You can also freeze it in 2 Tbsp. amounts; it will just require a little more forethought with thawing and all that.

Suggestion: If you want to substitute this yogurt in a recipe that calls for sour cream, you should make it into "yogurt cheese" first, by straining it for a while in your fridge. The name is kind of misleading, it isn't really like cheese. It becomes a very similar consistency to sour cream.

Final note: If you don't have a big enough soup pot to keep your yogurt incubating on the heating pad, you can try putting your heating pad on an oven rack, the yogurt on top and then just a towel snugly around it. There are different creative ways you can incubate it. It just has to stay warm for 8 (ish) hours.

09 July 2011

Rice Pudding

Do you ever find yourself with 3 cups of leftover rice in your fridge? Oh, you don't? OK, never mind I thought I was normal.

Well if you ever should, here is something yummy to do with it... I think this is from Joy of Cooking:

3 c. cooked rice
4 c. milk
1/2 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

In a large heavy pot, combine rice, milk and sugar. Heat over medium, stirring constantly (especially towards the end), for 20-30 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.

02 July 2011

Greek Salad

I just made this Greek salad, except instead of tomatoes, green bell pepper and red onion, I used red and yellow bell pepper, white onion (that had been in the fridge so not as spicy), and jicama. I also added some orzo.

It is so tasty! I made it for dinner tonight, perfect for a hot summer day...but I want to eat it all right now. This is a problem.

28 June 2011

Oriental Salad

I am on a salad kick this summer, same as most summers. This is my new every day salad, as in, I want to eat it every day. I've had it 3 days in a row now, but I think I better quit since it has sort of a lot of butter in it. Yikes!

Oriental Salad (from Nanny)
1/4 c. butter (half a stick)
2 pkgs ramen noodles (just the noodles. Throw away that nasty packet of MSG that comes with)
1/2 c. chopped almonds
2 Tbsp. sesame seeds
3/4 c. vegetable oil
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. rice vinegar
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. sesame oil
3 lbs. coleslaw mix or you know, shredded cabbage, green & purple, and some carrots

1. Brown butter in saucepan. Stir in ramen noodles, almonds and sesame seeds until everything is nice and brown and toasty. Transfer to bowl and wipe out saucepan.

2. Combine oil, sugar, vinegar, soy sauce and sesame oil in saucepan. Whisk together and bring to a boil. Simmer for 1 minute and let cool.

3. Put cabbage in large salad bowl, dump almond/sesame mixture on top, and toss with dressing. I think if you add some chicken, it could count as a whole meal.

04 June 2011

I'm Back... Chocolate No Bakes :)

Pregnancy is so weird. It makes you not want to cook, open your fridge, or even set foot in your kitchen... so after a long hiatus I am finally back. I'm almost 13 weeks now, mostly feeling better. But today I was feeling a little bit gnarly, so I made these little friends and then ate some, and voila! I am healed.

Chocolate No Bake Cookies... the Way-Reduced Sugar Version (but still good)
These are a nice cookie to make on a hot day because you don't have to turn on your oven! :)
3 c. rolled oats
6 Tbsp. cocoa
1 stick butter (1/2 cup)
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. milk
1/2 c. peanut butter
1 tsp. vanilla

1. In a large mixing bowl, combine oats and cocoa. Set aside

2. In a medium sauce pan, combine butter, sugar and milk over medium heat. When the butter is mostly melted, bring to a boil. Boil and stir for exactly 1 minute. Stir in peanut butter until dissolved.

3. Quickly stir butter mixture into oats. Stir well. Stir in vanilla. Plop little spoonfuls onto wax paper and let them cool. If it's really warm, plop them onto a cookie sheet covered with wax paper, and stick them in your fridge (or freezer if you're really in a hurry).

Lindsey Salad

This is my new favorite salad. I had it at our friends' house and have made it since like 6 times!

1/4 c. vegetable oil
1/8 c. sugar
1 Tbsp. cider vinegar
1/2 tsp. salt
a couple grinds black pepper

Mix dressing together in a screw top jar and chill.
Lettuce - any crispy crunchy kind like romaine, ice berg, whatev
Bacon, cooked until crisp and crumbled (optional...but super tasty)
Chow mein noodles, crispy rice noodles, or uncooked Top Ramen noodles* (my personal choice)
sesame seeds
sliced toasted almonds
a couple green onions, chopped/snipped
feta cheese, crumbled

I didn't put amounts in because you can just guess and see what looks good to you. This amount of dressing is plenty for 2 main dish salad helpings.

02 April 2011

Chicken Tacos

Chicken tacos don't really need a recipe - put some chicken, salsa and cheese in a tortilla right? But I saw this Bobby Flay recipe that sounded really good. I tried it. It was really good. Here's the simplified version.

Chicken Tomatillo Tacos
4 tomatillos
olive oil
1/2 small red onion
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 c. chopped cilantro
juice of 1 lime
1 T. honey
1 c. shredded chicken (1 chicken breast?)
6 tortillas
1/2 c. crumbled feta cheese (this is supposed to be queso fresco but feta totally works)

Saute the tomatillos in olive oil until browned on most sides. Place in food processor with onion, garlic, cilantro, lime juice, and honey. Pulse until mostly blended... to your liking. I like to see some red onion chunks... but no big chunks of raw garlic. :)

Place chicken in tortillas, top with tomatillo salsa and sprinkle with feta.

This made 6 smallish tacos/2 servings if you're super hungry like we were.

02 March 2011


I am so excited! I finally figured out what to do with quinoa!

I saw a recipe in an Everyday Food cookbook for a warm spinach salad with roasted shiitake mushrooms, quinoa and goat cheese. Not having any shiitakes nor goat cheese on hand, I did regular mushrooms this way, which I had already figured out is really tasty on a bed of spinach.

But, I took a cue from this new recipe and put some just-cooked quinoa (I had had a package of it in my cupboard for the longest time because it isn't that good - just ask Mom) on top of the spinach along with the mushrooms and IT WAS GOOD! It made the spinach even more wilty and delicious.

Oh yeah, and I shaved some parmesan on top, so we wouldn't miss the goat cheese. It worked.

So - go forth and do likewise. Unless your name is Mom and you hate mushrooms. Guess what Mom - I have good news! I used the extra quinoa on another spinach salad today sans mushrooms. I just heated it up, layered it over the spinach and then put some grapefruit segments and avocado slices, and topped it with Seeds in your Teeth dressing. Turns out that quinoa benefits greatly from any kind of salad dressing.

I am so happy! I wanted to love quinoa but I just couldn't... and now I do. Yippee!!

24 February 2011

Thai Coconut Chicken Soup

I got this recipe from Terry Meihaus. Maybe it is a secret recipe, but her restaurant is doing so well, she probably will not care that I am putting it on the internet :)

6 c. chicken broth
1" piece fresh ginger
2-3 stalks lemongrass
small red hot pepper, seeds and veins removed, finely chopped (divided)
2-4 cloves coarsely chopped garlic
2 14-oz cans coconut milk (Trader Joe's has the best kind)
5 raw chicken breasts, cut into thin strips
1 Tbsp. sugar
salt to taste
chopped chives & cilantro

1. Boil broth, ginger, lemongrass, some of the hot pepper and garlic for 20 minutes. Strain out solids.

2. Stir in coconut milk. Bring to a boil again; add raw chicken and remaining hot pepper. Boil for 5-10 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Add sugar and salt; adjust seasonings to taste. Sprinkle chives and cilantro on top just before serving.

Ricotta Recipe

I suppose I'm a cheesemonger now. OK I just wanted to say that word. But really, I have been making cheese in my kitchen. Does that sound amazing to you, or gross, or somewhere in between?

I love it. I've been using this recipe and it works great! I'm going to use the ricotta I made in a casserole for Sunday's potluck lunch. I'm not going to tell anyone until after they eat it. Do you think that's mean? I think I'm going to put it in Baked Ziti with Sausage. Hopefully no one will die.

When you make the ricotta, after the curds separate out you are left with all this whey. I know what you are going to say Dad. "No Whey!" ha ha, very funny. But seriously, what are you supposed to do - just throw all this lovely byproduct of your cheesemongering down the sink? So I tried an experiment of substituting the whey in place of water that I usually use when making Grandma Dingler's bread. It's really good! I was hoping it would taste more like sourdough, but it doesn't. It just has more of a depth to the flavor, if that makes any sense. Notes of oak and blackberry and all that, blah blah.

I just revamped...

this recipe and it is oh-so-tasty.

Highly recommended if you're in the mood for something Greek-flavored, cheesy, or just downright comforting.

21 January 2011

Apple Muffins and other fine flavors too

I've been shamelessly posting recipes from Moosewood on this blog for a long time, so why stop now? They have THE most amazing muffin recipe. They're super easy, and scrumptious.

Apple Muffins - makes 12
from Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home
(my favorite cookbook ever, if you hadn't noticed)

2 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups grated Granny Smith or other tart apples
2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. In a large bowl mix together eggs, oil, sugar, vanilla and apple. In a separate bowl sift together dry ingredients. Stir dry into wet until just combined.

3. Divide batter among 12 muffin cups. Bake 20-25 minutes.

Banana - sub 1 1/2 c. mashed ripe banana for the apple; omit cinnamon. Optional - add in 1 c. chopped nuts and/or 1/2 c. chocolate chips
* Blueberry - sub 1 1/2 c. fresh or frozen blueberries for the apple; omit cinnamon
* Zucchini - sub 2 c. grated zucchini for the apple; increase cinnamon to 1 tsp. and add 1/2 tsp. ground cardamom. Optional - add in 1/2 c. raisins and/or 3/4 c. chopped nuts

(The only one of the variations I've tried is the zucchini and it is fabulous too)